Sept. 20, 2022
Maize USD 266
Dr. Greer: Identifying needs to propel our future
Before setting goals and then working together to reach them, it is important to first assess current strengths and weaknesses.
Maize USD 266 has produced a district-level needs assessment, and each school building has done the same to identify common barriers students face and recommendations for improvement. This process, now required by Kansas state statute to be posted for public view, will guide district leaders and the Maize Board of Education to take actions to address and remove barriers for student success. Our Superintendent Student Advisory Council, a group of students from Maize High School, Maize South High School, and Complete High School Maize, will provide further feedback this year to help us continue to address barriers to learning. I invite you to read more below about the Needs Assessment and how our district is planning for the future. There are many resources available now on our district website, www.usd266.com, for those interested in learning more.
This month is also a great one for students and their parents to connect with our educators to identify those individual success stories and student needs that we can address together. Please plan to participate in Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, Sept. 22, and please know that we support frequent, open, and mutually respectful and productive dialogue between families and teachers.
On that note, we also have developed a Parent Concern Procedure document, a new visual tool to help families navigate the path toward a solution if you ever have a school-related concern about your child. Please see below, and I hope this provides clearer direction for families looking to engage with the school on behalf of their child’s needs.
I am excited to support all of these processes to help Maize USD 266 continue to reach its full potential, so we can help our students do the same!
Dr. Raquel Greer
Superintendent of Schools
Maize Board of Education news
After lower rates since 2016-17, school board approves small mill levy increase to prepare for inflation
During the Sept. 12 Budget Hearing, Maize School Board members approved a slight increase of 1.331 mills to the district's mill levy to avoid a deficit and prepare for rising costs due to inflation. The increase will take the mill levy less than 1 percent above where it was during the 2016-17 school year. The 1.331 mill levy increase would equal approximately $3.46 a month for the average $250,000 home in the Maize school district. Click here to read more.
District moves forward on demographic study for potential elementary school boundaries
During the Sept. 12 regular monthly meeting, school board members approved the hiring of Overland Park, Kansas, firm RSP and Associates to conduct a demographic study for the district. RSP will conduct an enrollment analysis and boundary analysis, with plans to deliver a final report in February or March.
The district plans this school year to review whether potential elementary school boundaries could provide efficiencies and improvements and alleviate traffic, busing, and other challenges in the growing district. RSP builds individualized data-driven strategic plans to help school districts plan for the future and better support academic success of students. The firm has worked with Kansas districts including Shawnee Mission, Spring Hill, and Wichita. Click here to read more.
Next school board meeting
Maize USD 266 names 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year nominees
Congratulations to Maize Career Academy Robotics and Engineering teacher Zack Helgesen and Maize Elementary School music teacher Katie Todd! They have been selected as Maize USD 266's 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year nominees. The Kansas State Department of Education annual award recognizes and celebrates excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms across Kansas. Its mission is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance, and the teaching profession.
Maize Education Foundation
Golf Tournament raises nearly $52,500 to support students, educators, and schools
District updates and reminders
New resource: Maize USD 266 Parental Concern Procedure
District launches Needs Assessment webpage
The district has launched a webpage, which you can access by clicking here, that celebrates the statistics that make us shine, including the following.
- Kindergarten readiness
- Median district and state performance data
- ACT and ACT WorkKeys
- College and career readiness
The website also has a section devoted to what's next for Maize USD 266, including the identification of six district-level barriers that related to students' needs, listed here.
- Recruitment and retention
- Student safety and support
- Curriculum resources
- Tiered system of support
- Academic progress
- School attendance
Click here to for the complete version of the Maize USD 266 district and schools Needs Assessment reports, which detail and identify barriers and recommendations for improvements. District leaders and the Maize Board of Education will be working toward improvements in these areas.
Help keep our Maize Family safe: If you see something, say something
There is no repercussion for students or individuals who make legitimate reports about safety-related concerns, and Maize USD 266 relies on all in the community to help keep our schools, students, and employees safe. If you see something, please say something immediately. School voicemails are not intended for emergencies and urgent matters. If you learn about a threat after school hours, please report it to the police immediately by calling 911.
There are also three ways to submit an anonymous tip:
- Click here to be taken directly to a secure tip reporting website.
- On your smartphone, download the free P3 Tips app from the App Store or Google Play. Then, follow the onscreen prompts to submit your tip.
- Call 316-267-2111.
Calendar update and reminder
2022-23 district calendar clarification
Important upcoming dates
- Sept. 22: No school, Parent-Teacher Conferences, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sept. 23: No school
- Oct. 14: End term one
- Oct. 17: No school, Professional Development
- Oct. 18: Term two begins
- Nov. 21-25: No school, Fall Break
Maize South Intermediate School teacher wins history honors
Maize South Intermediate School teacher Gina Wiechman was recently selected as the Kansas winner of the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was selected in recognition of her teaching excellence and her love of history.
Student entries win top recognition at Kansas State Fair
Congratulations to students who have winning entries showcased at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson!
- Maize High School junior Ian Thiessen, whose entry is pictured here, won first place in the Small Enclosed Terrarium Division and won Overall Grand Champion Terrarium.
- Maize High School freshman Ava Berry won Overall Reserve Champion Agronomic History Display.
- Maize South High School junior Taylor Jones won Overall Grand Champion Horticulture Plant Life Cycle Display.
Students also competed in Ag Mechanics Outdoor Furniture, Agronomic Crop Life Cycle Display, Horticulture Plant Life Cycle Display, and Large Enclosed Terrariums.
Food Service shopping local produce this school year
The Maize USD 266 Food Service Department has a new partnership with RISE Farms, a 15,000-square foot urban farm that grows a variety of produce through no-waste practices and is located on the top floor of the Fidelity Bank’s car park development in downtown Wichita. Maize USD 266 is excited to be the first school-based partner with RISE Farms.
The partnership is part of a larger initiative to go green. This year, Food Service is moving toward becoming more environmentally friendly and sustainable inside cafeterias across the district. Students in Maize USD 266 elementary schools are using reusable silverware and plastic trays rather than Styrofoam and plastic products.
Through this new partnership, students will have the choice of locally grown produce each week at both Maize High School and Maize South High School, which includes mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, tri-colored carrots, kale, arugula, and spinach.
Maize Elementary School first grade students thank construction crew workers
Brick masons and construction crew workers at Maize Elementary School have been working to build up and renovate the exterior of the school building. At the same time, first grade students are building up the crew members’ morale through affirmation and sweet treats to brighten their day. Students recently delivered posters, banners, water, Gatorade, and snacks as a way to thank them for their work. The workers said that construction is often a thankless job. Hutton Construction Superintendent Kyle Haworth provided a brick demonstration for the students and shared a few fun facts about their school building, including: If all the bricks were piled together, they would weigh as much as 50 elephants.
Kansas State Board of Education member Jim McNiece recently visited the Maize Career Academy and learned more about the pathways and course offerings there, including BioMedical, Health Science, and EMT and Fire Science. He represents Maize USD 266 and other school districts in District 10.
Four helpful links
Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas hiring
The Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas, the latchkey provider for the before- and after-school program in the Maize School District, continues to hire for the 2022-23 school year. The before-school program starts at 6:30 a.m. and goes to the start of the school day, and the after-school program goes from the end of the school day to 6 p.m. Applicants must be 18 years old to apply. Visit bit.ly/BGCSCKcareers to apply online.
Maize USD 266 e-newsletters
Superintendent Dr. Greer's Super Note
The mission of Maize USD 266 is to inspire students to discover their potential through connecting, learning, and leading.
905 Academy Avenue, Maize, KS, USA